Our all-around elixir for what ails you. Plague tonic can instantly stop a cough. It will shorten the duration of any cold. And it will help keep you healthy when you’re surrounded by sick people. Plague Tonic takes a bit to make, but it’s inexpensive and potent. Take it by the dropperful, by the spoon, or by the shot glass, depending on how brave you are or how quickly you need to get well .

We make a gallon of this stuff every fall, but the recipe can easily be scaled up or down to meet your needs.

Use organic ingredients if possible.

1 pound garlic

1 pound yellow onions

1 pound fresh ginger

¼ to ½ pound fresh horseradish root

Cayenne – this can be up to ½ pound of fresh hot peppers (preferably red, but green will do) or as little as a shake of ground cayenne powder. Play around with the measurements until you reach the spiciness that suits your taste.

Raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s, Spectrum, Eden, or Heinz – Bragg’s is available on our dry goods order, which will open soon) – you’ll need about 2 – 3 quarts.


The object here is to make the vegetables into the smallest possible pieces and combine them with the apple cider vinegar. If you have a Vita Mix or strong blender, this is a one-step process. Skip down a couple paragraphs to see how we do it. (If you don’t have a Vita Mix, you can order one here and get it shipped free with our free shipping code.)

  1. Finely grate, chop, or blend all of the vegetables using whatever kitchen tools you have on hand. You may need to peel the garlic, onions, ginger, and horseradish. And you’ll definitely want to peel them if they’re not organic. Be sure to wear gloves if you’ll be handling the hot peppers.
  2. Once the vegetables are chopped small, place them all into a glass container that has a lid. A one-gallon jar is ideal. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the vegetables until you have about a gallon altogether.
  3.  It’s best if you can keep the container in a dark place for 6 weeks, but you can start straining off some of the liquid right away. After 6 weeks, strain the entire gallon through a cloth, squeeze it out, and transfer the liquid to a clean bottle or jar. Plague tonic does not need to be refrigerated. The apple cider vinegar base preserves it.
  4. To use… Mostly, we just pour a little plague tonic into the bottom of a cup, add a little water, and chug. It’s nasty-tasting stuff (My husband says it will scare the cold out of you.), but to really pack a wallop, take as much as a quarter cup at a time. You can get creative too, and make a salad dressing with olive oil, plague tonic, and a little honey.

If you have a Vita Mix, wash and chop all of the ingredients. Peeling is optional, but recommended if you’re using conventional produce. Pour 2-3 cups of apple cider vinegar into the Vita Mix and add 2-3 cups of the chopped vegetables. Blend on high until the veggies are pureed, then pour the mixture into a gallon-sized glass container. Repeat until all the vegetables are used up. Then follow steps 3 and 4.